Country houses for sale

A wisteria-clad wonder set in eight idyllic acres that offers country charm, village community and is still commutable to London

Soft purple hues catch the eye at Shellingford House, a seven-bedroom home in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire. James Fisher takes a look.

There is a certain something to a wisteria-clad stone home — something so enviably English. Shellingford House, in the Oxfordshire village of Shellingford, is a prime example, with the gentle purple hues of this famed climbing plant working in concert with the property’s stone façade and pitched slate roof.

It’s believed that the property dates back to the 1630s, but has seen some improvement since then, most notably in the 18th and 19th centuries. For sale at £3.45 million with Knight Frank, it’s now a very thoughtfully laid-out family home, offering up to seven bedrooms, five reception rooms and four bathrooms.

Beautiful plasterwork, french windows and a mirror so that you can look at the garden even when you aren’t looking at the garden.

Particular highlights include the modern kitchen/dining area, which leads directly onto the south-east facing terrace.

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There’s also an elegant 17th century central staircase, which winds its way through all three floors of the house and features moulded balusters and Doric columns. 

The house also boasts some creative flair, with an art studio situated above the ground-floor library and a party barn attached to the house. 

The only thing that can rival the property is its setting. Surrounded by some eight acres of gardens, grounds and a field, the property offers the best of both worlds — a village setting but plenty of space.

The gardens are both formal and informal, and lead down to a small stream and feature a wild courtyard area, a more formal lawned area, an orchard and an outdoor swimming pool (with adjoining pool pavilion).

A secluded outdoor pool reveals itself at the bottom of the garden

The grounds also contain a hard tennis court and a large paddock, perfect for holding a horse or two or just leaving to Nature. Two single-bedroom cottages also offer even more space for guests, staff or annoying relatives.

Shellingford village itself offers amenities in the form of a local primary school, while nearby Stanford in the Vale boasts pubs, restaurants and shops.

Yet for all the joys of life on the doorstep, for those needing to commute it’s a house which is eminently practical: London is about an hour away, either via train from Swindon or via the M40.

Shellingford House is with Knight Frank for a guide price of £3.45 million. See more details and pictures.

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